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Bahrain orders out visiting US official for "intervening" in internal affairs

Published on Jul 8, 2014 9:49 AM
A handout picture released by Bahrain's main opposition Al-Wefaq group on July 7, 2014 shows US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski (right) meeting with Bahrain's Al-Wefaq opposition group leader Sheikh Ali Salman (left) on July 6, 2014 in the headquarters of the "al-Wefaq National Islamic Society" Shiite opposition party in the village of Zinj, west of Manama. -- PHOTO: AFP / HO / AL-WEFAQ MEDIA CENTRE

MANAMA (REUTERS) - Bahrain on Monday ordered a visiting senior US official to leave the kingdom immediately because he had "intervened flagrantly" in the country's internal affairs, the state news agency BNA said.

BNA said the foreign ministry had declared US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski, persona non grata after he "held meetings with a particular party to the detriment of other interlocutors, thus discriminating between one people, contravening diplomatic norms and flouting normal interstate relations".

The latest move highlights the sensitivity in relations between the strategic allies. Bahrain is a US ally in a volatile region and has long provided a base for the US Navy's Fifth Fleet. But at the same it faces criticism over its record on human rights.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States was "deeply concerned" about Bahrain's demand that Malinowski leave immediately.

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